NYS Continuing Education Law

Understanding the NYS Continuing Education Law

Have questions about continuing education in NYS?  Here is a quick summary of the NYS Continuing Education Law.  For more indepth questions and explanations, please go directly to the Office of the Professions, Massage Therapy website.


Summary of NYS Continuing Education Law

-Requires 36 hours of continuing education every 3 years beginning with your first re-registration. (Same as NY registration period.) The first 3 year period after your graduation, you are NOT required to take 36 CE’s.

-Courses must be provided by NYS approved providers. (see http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/mt/mtceproviders.htm for list)

Subject matter must be that which “contributes to your professional and clinical skills:”

Hands-on within scope of practice
A&P, myology, pathology etc – “the sciences” required in massage school
Philosophy and principles of massage therapy
Clinical interventions / evidence based models /“how to” research and case studies
Professional rules, regulations, standards of good practice, law and/or ethics, health, safety and public welfare
First Aid, CPR, intake, evaluation, assessment, treatment planning, record-keeping, chemistry and safety of products

Subjects not approved for CEs are those that are not within the licensed scope of practice:

Reiki, Alexander,  Feldenkrais
“Appearance enhancement” (wraps, scrubs, “facelift massage” etc)
Continuing education that is designed for the sole purpose of maximizing profits for the practice of a massage therapist shall not be acceptable as continuing education.

CE’s  may also be given for:

** Preparing and teaching a course offered by an approved provider or an approved massage school

** Presenting at a professional conference sponsored by an approved provider

**Achieving a specialty certification from an “entity acceptable to NYS OPD.”

** Authoring a per-reviewed journal article or published book

Passing the (free) exam on the OPD website about massage laws, rules and regulations.  (3 hours CE’s)

Renewing First Aid or CPR certificate (up to 3 hours CE’s)

Any class in “another jurisdiction” for formal education in massage therapy (up to 6 hours CE’s)

Online classes are ok as long as they are from an approved provider.  If not approved provider, then up to 6 hours as defined above

If you cannot take your CE’s before you need to register, you cannot practice until you “catch up.”  OPD may issue a conditional registration good for one year for “catch up time.”

 ** see:  http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/mt/mtceapplicantinfo.htm#cer for number of CE hours to be credited.

Record Keeping:

  • Continuing education records – 6 years
  • Client records – 6 years   Minors at least 6 years and must be 1 year after the minor turns 21
  • Advertising copy – 1 year

Helpful Links:

NYSED Continuing Education Questions & Answers for Licensed Massage Therapists

Continuing Education Department Approved Providers

NCBTMB Approved Providers


updated 3-2021